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Durafly 'Auto-G' autogyro

Old 07-03-2013, 10:48 PM
  #1  
JetPlaneFlyer
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Default Durafly 'Auto-G' autogyro

I picked up a Durafly Auto-G autogyro yesterday and took it out for a few trimming flights this morning. It went really well.
The trick with these autogyros seems to be to make sure you allow the rotor to get up to full speed before taking to the air. That's easy if there is a breeze to spin the rotor but it means a long gentle take off run if it's calm. Try to get up to speed to quick and it tips over to the left due to increased lift from the advancing blade, but you soon get the hang of it. Hand launched are child's play if you let the rotor get up to full speed first.
In flight handling is quite interesting, like cross between fixed wing and a helicopter, lots of ‘aileron’ to rudder coordination is required which might be a challenge for some fixed wing flyers with a lazy left thumb. The standard motor and prop seems to give more than ample thrust. It climbs very steeply under power, so I might add some downthrust but in general it went great. I even did a few stall turns and loops which were straightforward. It didn't want to know about rolling manoeuvres though.
In a gentle (5mph) breeze it's possible to hold the Auto-G in a hover, it will also show a surprising turn of speed if you open the throttle and hold the nose down with elevator.

Flight time was surprisingly good, seven and a half minutes flying left 3.8v per cell in the battery, so it would do 8 minutes or more without any problem.

All in all highly recommended if you are an intermediate or higher level flyer looking for something 'different', it's a lot of fun.

I'll shoot a video next time out.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:30 AM
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That looks fun. I love the unusual stuff.

i can't make it out in the picture. How is the rotor head controlled? And is there pitch as well as roll controll in the rotor?

Thanks!
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by xmech2k View Post
That looks fun. I love the unusual stuff.

i can't make it out in the picture. How is the rotor head controlled? And is there pitch as well as roll controll in the rotor?

Thanks!
Controls are conventional rudder and elevator plus side to side 'tilt' of the rotor. The tilt is driven by two servos but i assume they use two only because one doesnt have enough torque. Tilt is controlled like aileron with the servos on a y-lead.

Basically the tilt swings the weight of the fuselage from side to side under the rotor like you would in a hang-glider.

It all works very well in level flight though if you pull up close to vertical the tilt stops having any effect, which is to be expected when you think about it.

Last edited by JetPlaneFlyer; 07-04-2013 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:41 AM
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Thanks for the info. One of these days I'd like to try an autogyro. Too many toys and projects already....
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:59 AM
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Yoohoo.Hobbyking has just launched an upgrade kit to power up your blades before take off.
The pre-rotator is incorporated into the new Auto-G 2.My conversion kit is on the way,so Ill comment on it when I fit it to my auto-G1.
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...rt_System.html
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:01 AM
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Look forward to hearing about it. How does this autogyro handle the wind?
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:12 AM
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Sorry,xmech,I can't tell you,because I have never had a successful flight of more than a few seconds.I fly off a very short runway,and simply couldn't get enough speed on the rotors.Yanking it into the air is a recipe for disaster.Ask me how I know
However,I have scratchbuilt a few gyros over the years,and most handled the wind quite well.The only thing is,being foam,this one is very light.That could affect it's flight in high winds.But a light breeze is in fact desirable,to aid getting the rotor speed up.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:22 AM
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I got hold of an auto rotator from HK and it seems simple enough until you want to switch it on and off. There is a special two wire servo plug and I am guessing it goes in a remote switch which is not supplied or described. Can anyone help
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Birdmanpete View Post
I got hold of an auto rotator from HK and it seems simple enough until you want to switch it on and off. There is a special two wire servo plug and I am guessing it goes in a remote switch which is not supplied or described. Can anyone help
No special components are required, just a standard receiver with five or more channels.

The two wire servo plug is the on/off control for the auto-rotator. You simply connect the plug to the channel on your receiver that you wish to use for auto-rotator activation. The flap or gear channel for instance.


Bear in mind that the auto-rotator is only intended to be activated prior to take off, just to get the rotors up to speed. You shouldnt fly with it on all the time.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:17 PM
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PS.. Just to show that they do fly, and pretty well, here are some videos of my Auto-G in action, including doing rolls (which I think I may have been the first to pull off):

General flying around:


Rolls:
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:13 AM
  #11  
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What a great response. I loved the videos and I have had a set of home made blades half built on my bench for months but have lacked the confidence to finish and fly them. I would like to know where the cofg of the blades lies and I surely would love a dual action head. I have built one but I don't trust my engineering.

Back to the plug which drives the switch mine has yellow and brown wires Should I treat the yellow as information.

Thanks again JetPlaneFlyer.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:56 AM
  #12  
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Yes, the yellow wire is the signal, so put it at the same way round as your standard servo plugs.

CoG of the stock blades is 15mm back on a 45mm chord, so that's 1/3rd chord. The stock blades have a moulded plastic leading edge to add weight to the front, but I've seen it done on wood blades either by letting in a piece of piano wire into the leading edge, or making the leading edge from spruce.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:12 AM
  #13  
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Thanks for that. The other area which interests me is the rigging angle of the blades. Have you heard of any experimentation with more and less angle of attack.

Best wishes, Birdmanpete
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:28 AM
  #14  
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I've not messed with the pitch angles. Seems to work pretty well as it is so i never felt the need to. It would be interesting to see how having a more free flapping and pivoting hinge on the blades would effect things. It should in theory reduce the tendancy that the Auto-G has to roll right at speed and on take off, but all in all it flies good just as it comes outof the box.

If you wanted to experiement it would be easy enogh to make some different wedges to replace the standard ones.
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:05 AM
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It is some what shameful to admit, but when I started making my own blades (with solder in the LE to achieve a 20% c of g, as in full size) I put the rigging blocks in a safe place and now I cannot find them. LOL. I am going to start with 1.5 degrees negative.

Another question have you ever put a tacho in the system to check head revs. I did, and got what I hope will be a useful number; 1000rpm at lift off. We will see.

Best wishes

Birdmanpete

Last edited by Birdmanpete; 01-15-2014 at 09:08 AM. Reason: accidental entry
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:07 PM
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I can easy measure the wedges.. i'll do so and post the dimensions here.

I've never tacho'ed the system. You would really need a helicopter optical head speed tacho to do that, which I dont own.

You will have lot of fun with it, i enjoy flying mine. i actually have two, the original Auto-G and the Auto-G2 with the pre-rotator. The original one flies better due to lower weight and lack of drag from the one way bearing in the pre-rotator, but the pre-rotator does make take off a lot less fuss.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:16 PM
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I dug out my notes from elswhere and it turns out i already measured the wedges, they are in the range 3.5 to 4 degrees.

bear in mind that although they give 3.5 - 4 degrees negative to the bottom surface of the airfoil the chord line will only be about 1.5 degree negative.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:26 PM
  #18  
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Hmm !!! That does make sense. So tomorrow I will sort that out.

The point you make about the drag of the mast is very real to me as I have two full size gyros both of which travel regularly on open trailers. The fuel consumption of a car pulling a small gyro on an open trailer is much worse than that of the the same car pulling a two seat sailplane on an open trailer. The next time I commit to taking either of mine to the city (400km's) I am going to fit a temporary, core flute, fairing to the mast. And I think that might be a very interesting experiment to simulate on a model. The Durafly designers clearly never considered the issue. A small sheet of thin celluloid might make a huge difference. I will try that.

Thanks for the encouragement. My Durafly did fly for about forty seconds. I made a very foolish mistake with much too much bank. Since then it has languished in the down but not out part of the shed. Now it is almost ready to go again.

In full size gyros head speed is almost invariably measured using a cycle computer. I recently saw a new one advertised on line for $5.00.

Best wishes.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:00 AM
  #19  
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Default I meant to ask....

.... about the cable from the motor to the head. In my case the cable appears to be about 2mm too long and does not "sit straight" (it bows). Should I fiddle with the grub screws in the hope of easing that ?

Also; the nylon motor block is capable of sliding east-west in its mounting holes. Should I remove the slop with spacer washers or is it "intended"?

Best wishes.
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:53 AM
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The motor is intended to slide sideways, this helps keep the flexible drive shaft straighter when you tilt the head, so don't shim it. I did slightly adjust the grub screw to remove some of the bow in the shaft, but be careful because you need enough length to cover for the most extreme tilt angles of the head.

When it comes to turning the Auto-G a lot of aileron and rudder co-ordination is required. Once you get the knack there really is no limit on bank angle, as my barrel rolls illustrate
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:08 AM
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Birdmanpete
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Default Nearly ready to go.

Good thoughts, thankyou again.

I have made the pitch wedges and fitted the blades.

It is very windy today so flying was not an option. However I took her outside to check the spin up. It was impressive. By the time I had 720rpm indicated, it was blowing backward and trouble was approaching fast so I slowed it down.

The same test held over my head might have been more instructive. I think I might have a fraction too much down thrust but I will have to wait for a better day before I will be sure.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:05 AM
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Default Meanwhile the mast fairing emerges.

I found a piece of celluloid which is about 0.2mm. That seems just a fraction too thick. I am wondering if plain paper (double thickness) and covered with modelling film (ironed on) would be sufficient.

Still very windy here but maybe tomorrow....

Birdmanpete.
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Old 10-18-2014, 03:10 AM
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Default Auto Gyro's

Hello Felllow "Gyro-Naughts",
I used to fly the full size Gyrocopter and reading the posts above I'd like to make a few comments if I May.
As you know most every Radio Controlled model is grossly overpowered as compared to the man carrying similar planes, helicopters and Gyrocopters so with that being said.....
Some of the real man carrying Gyro's will loop and do Barrel rolls but they won't do Axial rolls.
The main rotor blades are set at + 3 degrees positive but the NACA rotor Blade designs for them may be different than these models.
When doing stunts, I'd not recommend doing a Hammerhead maneuver because the Gyrocopter already fly's in Autorotation (the relative wind always comes up from the bottom of the rotors and out the top just 180 degrees opposite the helicopters which "bite" the air and pull it down through the top. When the power to a real or model helicopter's engine fails, they have to immediate reduce the collective and get the rotors to a negative pitch to allow the decent (or fall) to allow the relative wind (air) to "Auto rotate" the blades for the pilot to keep up rotor RPM and make a controlled descent and hopefully landing. If a Gyro is pushed to a vertical position until it will not climb, the movement of the relative wind is no longer passing through the rotors and they will slow down very quickly and as the model goes left, right or over backwards the force of the relative wind (as the gyro is falling) will not allow the blades to gain the needed rpms again and it (Rel Wnd) will actually slow them down...resulting in a crash. I knew of a guy who put a turbo powered Subaru engine on his gyro and was showing off the extra power on his first (and last) hammerhead maneuver and the rotors lost the relative wind, losing lift, slowing down the rotor speed and on the way down the blades slowed even more.
This is the same effect as trying to take off before the rotors have reached the proper flying speed. As mentioned above, the gyro will lift off but it will immediately roll over and crash. None of my comments are criticism in any way. I am just passing on some information to help keep the rotors spinning and everyone having a good time flying and not making repairs or worse, loosing interest in these unique flying machines altogether. Keep the rotors spinning and have lots of fun. I purchased an Auto G and then ordered the Prerotator unit but have not put it all together yet. Thanks to all your above posts it has begun to relight that fire to get onto it soon.
I have started building a 1/4 scale Bensen Gyro and without a lathe and milling machine a band saw and file are my main tools to fabricate the small parts to give it a real scale look. I am using a small .15 Four stroke engine and I am making a mast with a "Diamond" opening to allow the engine to be set forward to better balance the Gyro. I knew of three guys in FL that did this on their real gyros using four cylinder aircraft engines. I guess I better work on the Auto G and this during the winter to have two nice machines this coming spring. Best Regards, George
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Old 10-18-2014, 03:52 AM
  #24  
Birdmanpete
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Default Super good news !!!

This subject has attracted so little new blood. I too fly the full size version. I have two full size gyros. One Subaru type (two seat) and one Rotax (single seat) Both fly beautifully but due to advancing years and no colleagues I fly them very rarely. I would love to sell them but there seems to be no interest. I try not to be sad about that.

Like you I am attempting to build a replica and I have a Durafly Auto G with pre rotator. BUT !!! Even with our shared full size experience, these are not easy things in the miniature version.

The biggest issues (I think) are wind strength and launch runway length. (For those who insist on a "real take off") With models the hand launch approach seems to have a much better success rate.

I really do want to learn how your projects progress. My experience has shown that the Durafly in a Balsa Clone construction would probably be better for novices (being quickly repar-able). My attempts at balsa blades however have not succeeded.

I do have a stock of spare blades and head parts. Your thoughts have revived my dream. I will not give up.
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